Kevin Mitchell reflects on his year as CIBSE President

I am nearing the end of my year as CIBSE President, and what a year it’s been. I have received so much encouragement from CIBSE members, and I would like to take a moment to reflect on all of your brilliant work and support over the last year. This year we have been celebrating CIBSE’s 125 th anniversary, remembering our rich and inspiring history. When I was thinking about my aims for my year as CIBSE President, I wanted to make sure that we celebrated this significant milestone appropriately. But this hasn’t all been about celebrating past achievements, and we have focussed significantly in looking ahead to our future. CIBSE’s impressive legacy and continued success wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing dedication of our members and volunteers who work collaboratively to pay forward the support we have received, and to share how we, as building services engineers, are key to the transition to net zero, two aims which are central to the theme I set at the start of the year, to i

Celebrating early career engineers and exceptional employers at the CIBSE Young Engineers Awards 2022

Last month, I had the pleasure of opening the CIBSE Young Engineers Awards. This event has long been a highlight of my year, celebrating the achievements, insights, and innovative ideas of those in the early stages of their careers. In fact, my personal experience of the Young Engineers Awards had a big sway on the theme for my presidential year, to inspire the next generation. In providing a platform for early career engineers, entering the industry from a variety of routes, the Young Engineers Awards complement the #CIBSE125Challenges perfectly. They shine a light on the future thought leaders within our industry, giving insight into the priorities, direction, and innovative approach that we need to overcome the urgent challenges that we face. It is an opportunity to celebrate the young engineers that are already making a difference, to highlight the various routes into a career in engineering, and to celebrate those employers that prioritise and see the benefits of boosting the deve

What do you do? Looking at how we communicate our roles and impact as building services engineers

With fewer engagements over the summer holiday period, August brought time to plan, consolidate and for many, take a well-earned break. For anyone with school aged children, there is the additional challenge of making sure that they are occupied over the summer months. The holiday period made me think about how we engage with our family and friends about what we do. I feel that the term Building Services Engineering does little to convey the variety of specialisms we cover, the impact that we have, and the importance of the work that engineers within this sector do. When asked what I do, I have taken to referring to the role that engineers play in delivering buildings that are safer, healthy, and more sustainable. I have found that the reaction to this is far more engaging than I used to have when I replied that I am a Building Services Engineer.  Another term that I’ve heard used in reference to what we do is that we bring buildings to life. It is true that when buildings are desi

Strengthening bonds, working together to deliver a culture of collaboration

A lot can happen in a month! I am delighted to say that since my previous post, I have had the opportunity to focus on collaboration with other professional engineering institutions, planning and developing opportunities for us to work together. Kicking off with the ASHRAE Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, I was accompanied by Ruth Carter, CIBSE CEO; Hywel Davies, CIBSE Technical Director; and Tim Dwyer, CIBSE Fellow and Editor of Building Services Engineering Research & Technology (BSER&T) journal. Toronto has very fond memories for me and my family, as we were fortunate to be based there for just over four years. It was wonderful to be back there and in such a positive context. Kevin Mitchell, CIBSE President and Mick Shwedler, ASHRAE President Having met with Mick Schwedler, ASHRAE President, in London the previous month, the conference provided an excellent opportunity to discuss plans for further collaboration. I was also honoured to be able to present Mick with a gift

Inspire the Next Generation

It’s been just over a month since I took up the role of CIBSE President and it’s been a busy and exciting time. As part of my presidential address and in celebration of CIBSE’s 125 anniversary, I launched the #CIBSE125Challenges . The aim of the Challenges is to encourage action, communication and collaboration. It’s important that we celebrate and support those who are beginning their careers but also champion and raise the profile of engineers throughout their careers. As an institution, CIBSE recognises the vital role that building services engineers play in delivering a safe and sustainable future. The Challenges are a vehicle for celebrating role models, icons, mentors, achievements and sharing the lessons we have learnt. I want them to be the spark for igniting imagination, inspiration and action. I’m happy to say that so far, we have had an excellent engagement with the Challenges, including contributions from of Fiona Cousins, Region Chair, Americas – Arup and CIBSE Vice P

Adapt to Change

I want to look at ways in which our world is changing. Not just our world in general, but the world of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning; the world of comfort and lighting and air quality in buildings; the world of building performance. Technological innovations are rapidly changing many aspects of our work and our lives. Forecasts suggest that one in seven jobs could soon be automated, and we have seen a rapidly growing interest in both robotics and artificial intelligence. The breakneck pace of AI and automation see changes to our workforce we couldn’t have imagined, with some experts saying that 65% of students starting early education will work in jobs that are about to die out. Our environment is also changing, at least in part due to our own impacts. Innovators in green tech are racing against a different kind of clock, one that affects the entire natural world. In 2017 global energy related CO 2 emissions reached a record 32.5 gigatonnes, whilst climate related

A Changing Landscape

It’s been a busy couple of months since my inauguration as president at the CIBSE AGM in May. I have been working closely with the CIBSE board, staff and volunteers to make sure that the aims and actions we take are clear and effective. From right to left: CIBSE Vice President Kevin Kelly, Immediate Past President Peter Wong, President Elect Lynn Jack, President Stephen Lisk, Vice President Ashley Bateson and Vice President Stuart MacPherson at the CIBSE AGM In my inaugural address,  Adapt to Change,  I outlined some of the challenges facing our industry and wider society. The last few years have been tumultuous, with little sign of calmer seas ahead and I believe that with our collective experience and knowledge CIBSE must lead change as a globally recognised force for good. It is time to take stock and assess what we, as an institution and a profession are trying to achieve. In doing this, I believe we can gain a better understanding of how to maintain and grow our relevanc